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Review of US-PHL defense treaty not influenced by other countries

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Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana

REVIEWING the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States is not influenced by the interest of other countries, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said on Friday.

In a press briefing at the Malacañan Palace, the Department of National Defense (DND) chief said plans to review the decades old treaty is in the interest of national security.

“We’re going to approach this MDT in the backdrop of what’s happening in the area and our interest as a nation — not the interest of other nations but our interests,” he told reporters on Friday.

The MDT was signed back in 1951 by both representatives of the Philippines and the US as formality of both of the countries’ alliance during foreign attack.

Mr. Lorenzana said there is a need to reassess the treaty since this was issued during the Cold War.

“Do we still have a Cold War today? Is it still relevant to our security? Baka hindi na (Maybe not).”




The Defense Secretary said there are no concrete plans as of now on how the government will review the treaty, but he has ordered lawyers to look into it.

On the other hand, Mr. Lorenzana is also planning to ask legislators to look into the Commonwealth Act No. 1 or The National Defense Act signed back in 1935 and “convince them to amend it to align it with what’s happening now.”

“The National Defense Act is still the law being followed by the military up to now. 1935 pa yun, napakatagal na (It’s from 1935 [so] it’s a really long time already),” Mr. Lorenzana added.

The said law called for the creation of an independent army of the Philippines. — GMC